What should small businesses offer?

Should Your Small Business Offer Dental and Vision Insurance?

Posted August 23, 2018 by Justworks in Benefits and Perks
If you run a small business, should you offer vision and dental insurance? Read here to understand the pros and cons, and make the best decision for your team.

Providing employees access to health insurance is a widely accepted employer practice, especially with the rules laid out by the Affordable Care Act. However, when it comes to vision and dental insurance, these benefits are much less regulated. The insurance exists, but no employer is federally mandated to provide either of them.

While something might not be mandated, it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be offered. However, it’s not so black-and-white about whether you should offer dental or vision insurance. Fundamentally, a lot of it comes down to cost. Can your business afford it? Should your business pay for it?

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Dental Insurance

There is an intrinsic connection between oral health and overall health. For example, people with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease because diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection. People who do have gum disease are also prone to heart disease.

It’s hard to gain access to your pancreas, which is often time affected by diabetes. And it is definitely hard to gain access to the heart. But by looking at your easily accessible teeth and gums, dentists can catch health problems before they get too far along.

Having dental insurance allows your employees access to important preventative care.

Dentists offer quality preventative care. For example, if you have too much plaque, a dentist can handle that before it turns into gum disease, which can be costly to treat. Having dental insurance allows your employees access to this kind of important care.

Many employees expect preventative care to be included with their health insurance. And for small businesses that are trying to grow their team, it’s important that talent is able to access a competitive a benefits package. Dental insurance is definitely one of those benefits.

Related Article: 17 Excellent Workplace Wellness Ideas That Don't Break the Bank

Vision Insurance

According to a study conducted by the HCMS Group, employers that offered their employees stand-alone vision benefits experienced $5.8 billion in cost savings over four years. This was due to reduced healthcare costs, a drop in productivity losses, and lower turnover rates.

Eye doctors are able to identify early signs of chronic diseases much sooner than other healthcare providers.

So, how does spending more on vision insurance mean you save more money?

According to some research, there is only one non-invasive way to view the blood vessels and optic nerve: comprehensive eye exams. Because of this, eye doctors are able to identify early signs of chronic diseases much sooner than other healthcare providers. And the numbers are staggering:

  • 34% of signs of diabetes were identified through an eye exam, for a savings of $3,120 per employee over four years
  • 39% of high blood pressure was identified through an eye exam, for a savings of $2,233 per employee over four years
  • 63% of high cholesterol was identified through an eye exam, for a savings of $1,360 per employee over four years

By catching health concerns early on, these diseases can be prevented, which in turn keeps health insurance premiums low and your employees in the office.

Another reason to offer vision insurance? Your competition may not. By offering it, you may gain a leg-up on other employers, which can help you with recruiting.

Related Article: When Should a Growing or Small Business Offer Employee Benefits?

Keep Costs Down

Health insurance can be expensive, but there are some ways to save money. For instance, look for purchasing pools. These allow small companies to band together to buy health insurance. Your buying power with 10 employees is little compared with your buying power with 50 other businesses with 10 employees.

With a PEO like Justworks, you can take advantage of collective buying power as a small business. The PEO model gets your employees access to corporate-level health, vision, and dental insurance at a lower cost to your business.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.